So is Serie A just a bunch of PKs all the time? hope wm72 can answer this super serious question.
In all super seriousness though I wouldn't be surprised to see the numbers a little higher in Serie A for a few reasons.
Those who watch a lot of Serie A have probably noticed some big changes in how matches are called which since the last World Cup.
A lot of these are in response to the same issues that posters here have complained about in the league (cynical play, diving, defensive players allowed to be too physical).
The NT hiring Prandelli and listening to his concerns about the difficulty younger attacking talent have had developing quickly in the top flight is one among many reasons for this shift.
PKs: That there may be more than normal seems due mainly to many defenders still trying to get away with too much contact in the box combined the officials having a mandate to clean it up.
At Roma, you see this mentality with an old guard defender like Burdisso who'll tackle you NFL style to keep the ball out of the net compared to a younger guy like Marquinhos who never desperately goes to ground in the box.
I've also noticed that fouls on the GK are called much more often in favor of the attacking player In Serie A recently which has resulted in a lot of PKs and red cards for the GKs.
For some reasons corner kicks are still the exception. On those, defending with hobnails and broken-off beer bottles is encouraged and the lightest contact by an attacking player draws a call.
Also AC Milan simply always gets a lot of PKs and always will but I guess that Barca and ManU also probably skew the numbers in their leagues as well. Cynical play/Tactical fouls:
There's been a clear effort by officials to yellow card these without hesitation. While Serie A is not nearly as clean
as La Liga, in comparison to the EPL you see at least 5 fouls a match in an EPL match that don't receive yellows which would in Serie A in a heartbeat.
I've noticed this change a lot following Roma since we've always attacked recklessly and therefore get caught out a lot. Even the somewhat subtle tactical foul 1 minute into the match not even at midfield now always draws a yellow.
There's also been a publicized focus on cleaning up the long standing strategy of simply fouling players like Totti, Pirlo or now Balotelli almost every time they touch the ball to throw them off their game or try to get in their heads. You now see yellow quickly for even the second pretty light foul in a match.
Diving: I doubt that many who haven't watched a lot of Serie A will believe me but the PKs really have nothing to do with diving. There's now a mandatory suspension for any dive that earns a PK which all the leagues would do well to institute. I actually see a lot more blatant dives (no contact at all) in the box in the average EPL match the past 2 seasons than in Serie A.
The Serie A soap opera now has moved more to showing how violently disfigured you were by a little touch to the face and the entire eleven plus coaches and the bench all engaging in an histrionic symphony of "balls pulling" hand gestures in protest of every call.